Creative Sound Blaster EVO Zx and ZxR headsets integrate SB-Axx1 processor for audio intelligence

Chris Burns - Jun 12, 2013, 2:34pm CDT
Creative Sound Blaster EVO Zx and ZxR headsets integrate SB-Axx1 processor for audio intelligence

It’s not every day a company comes around claiming they’ve got a pair of headphones that “intelligently” enhance the audio blasting through your eardrums in real time. That’s what the team at Creative Technology Ltd have come forth with today, suggesting their two headset contributions to the fold this month, Sound Blaster EVO ZxR and Sound Blaster EVO Zx, to be bringing a new proprietary technology they’ve branded SBX Dialog Plus. This technology has been out in the wild before today, though only through the Creative Sound Blaster PC sound card for PCs.

The way these headphone sets enhance the sound they’re letting loose is with an integrated SB-Axx1 processor. This means that, unlike most headphones on the market, you’ll have a computer running inside your headphones aside from the sound processing done on a basic level through the headphone jack you’ve plugged into. With what Creative Sound calls CrystalVoice inNoiseReduction, this same processor works to deliver voice through these headphones’ microphone to calls and inside online games with clarity.

While we’ll have to see how this system really performs when we have a closer listen in review form, for now all we’ll be able to say is that it SEEMS like it could be neat.

These phones are made to be enhanced by the Sound Blaster Central app for Android and iOS devices as well as the Sound Blaster EVO Control Panel for Mac and Windows machines. These apps work to help you customize your sound with technologies going by the names SBX Pro Studio and CrystalVoice (as mentioned above). These suites offer a collection of odd and helpful sound controls as outlined by Creative:

SBX Pro Studio Features:
• SBX Crystalizer – Restores the “highs” and “lows” that are compromised during audio
compression to create and audio experience as the original artist intended
• SBX Smart Volume – Intelligently minimizes abrupt volume changes by automatically adjusting the loudness of audio playback
• SBX Dialog Plus – Intelligently enhances voices in music and movies for drastically clearer vocal range
• SBX Bass – Dramatically improves the sound experience by expanding the low frequency tones
• SBX Surround – Creates unprecedented levels of audio realism by producing virtual speakers around, above and below the listener

CrystalVoice Features:
• CrystalVoice Acoustic Echo Cancellation – Eliminates echoes that interfere with voice communications
• CrystalVoice Noise Reduction – Eliminates unwanted background noise from conversations
• CrystalVoice inNoiseReduction – Eliminates the other parties’ unwanted background noise so that they can be heard clearly
• CrystalVoice FX – Morphs voices into different characters and accents
• CrystalVoice Focus – Suppresses noise outside a specified acoustic zone to enable voice communications to be heard with amazing clarity

These headsets are differentiated by their abilities to work with or without certain technologies. While the Sound Blaster EVO ZxR wireless headset, coming in at $299.99, works with Active Noise Cancellation and 50mm drivers, the Sound Blaster EVO Zx comes in at $229.99 and works with 40mm drivers. The lesser of the two will be a Best Buy exclusive in the United States.

Launching aside these more high-powered beasts are the Sound Blaster EVO Wireless and the Sound Blaster EVO, both of them bringing similar looks and access to the same software, but without the integrated audio processor technology. They’ll be available for $179.99 and $129.99 and out in July, the same as the rest. We’ll be seeing more of these headphones soon – for now, just the one peek!

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